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Us 15, Washington 10, Mr. Reid 5, Afghanistan 5, Bob Woodward 5, America 5, Alaska 4, Pentagon 4, Adam Smith 4, Smith 4, Somalia 4, Arne Duncan 3, Kerry 3, Israel 3, Anchorage 3, Iran 3, Mr. Harkin 3, North Korea 2, Ronald Reagan 2, California 2,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    February 28, 2013
    5:00 - 8:00pm EST  

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annette has to travel up this ladder, again, in -- i don't care, even if it's good weather like this. if a pregnant woman has to get out of town by getting on a crab boat going three hours across turbulent waters, hauling herself up a metal ladder like this to get to an airplane where she can fly out and make that connection into anchorage, when you put her through this, you say why is that pregnant woman doing that? you cannot deliver a baby in king cove. we don't have doctors. we don't have anesthesiologists. six weeks before your due date, you are told to go to town. "town" is anchorage, alaska, 600 miles away. when you are eight months'
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pregnant, every pregnant woman in king cove has to get out. so these are what we're putting these people through. and the answer is so simple. so, i stand before you today with a call -- a call to secretary salazar, a call to this administration. listen to the people. listen to the people who have lived in an area for 1,000-plus years who want to continue to call this place home and who are looking for very basic accommodations, very basic accommodations. we have refuges all over this country. i got an e-mail from a friend of mine who says, as i'm sending you this txt, i'm driving lou a refuge in florida.
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driving through a refuge in florida. it is a paved road. there are signs along the road. it is two lanes, and it is a refuge. we're asking for a ten-mile, one-lane gravel, basically, emergency access for the people of king cove. but sometimes i think that because king cove is so far out of the way, so far, at the end of the world as far as some people are concerned, that it's kind of out of sight, out of mind, and that maybe what we'll do is we'll just say, in this part of the country, the birds are more important than the people, and there is sensitive habitat out there, mr. president. i agree. and we need to be responsible in how we protect habitat. but we know that we can protect habitat and we can also let the human beings who live there kind of exist or coexist side by side
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and do it respectfully. the people in king cove respect the land more than you and i can ever appreciate, because if they fail to respect the land, they don't live. so when we talk about how we can reach an accommodation, the people of king cove said, we are asking for a simple level of safety the and in order to gain this level of safety, we are willing to give up our lands, we are willing to give up other lands that we own in exchange for this small corridor. so, mr. president, what we're effectively talking about, this trade, this land conveyance exchange that we signed off on in 2009, it is a 300-1 exchange. the federal government gets 300 times more than the aleuts get.
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300 times more. 56,000-plus acres are going to the federal government. this will be the first new wilderness that is created in alaska since anilca back in the 1980's. and what is being asked for is this small corridor -- it's basically 206 acres all told. and yet the fish and wildlife service says, neh, 300-1 isn't good enough for us. they say, we think there are other alternatives. they say, well, why can't you just have a ferry. put a lightweight aluminum ferry out there. the fish and wildlife service actually went out and decided that they were going to cost out what an aluminum ferry might cost. so when they sat down with me,
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when the director of fish and wildlife sits down with me, he says, senator, there's another alternative out there. well, talk to the people of king cove about how viable an across-water alternative is when during the wintertime you can't get into these areas because it's all iced over. you can't get into that. talk to the people about king cove about what to means to be very i can is, to have double pneumonia, to be eight months pregnant and to have broken bones and body and to have to fight huge waves and then climb up a ladder like you've just seen in these elements to get to an all-weather airport that can take you safely to anchorage. and all they're asking for is ten miles of a gravel road. i have suggested, mr. president -- i've suggested this to the
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secretary, i've suggested this to the president's nominee to be secretary of the interior, that sometimes i think there's a double standard, that we allow things to go on in other parts of the country, but in alaska it's got to be a different standard up there. the standard for the safety of an american should never, never be changed. it should not be higher for someone in the eastern part of the country than it is for somebody out in king cove. we're talking about the safety of americans with a reasonable alternative. we shouldn't be having to fight our government this way, but the people of king cove are willing to travel all this way to make their case. i thank the secretary for hearing them out.
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i think the secretary is a compassionate man, and my hope is that when he looked in their eyes and he heard their stories that his heart will be moved to respect the people of king cove, to respect the alaska natives, to respect them as much as he has shown respect for the public lands that he has been entrusted to for these past four years. so he's got an opportunity to issue this best-interest findings and to reverse the decision from the fish and wildlife service that says that no action is the way we go forward. well, mr. president, no action compromises the ar safety of the
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americans. that's not acceptable. we'll keep working this. we'll keep fighting it. but i believe that, in the end, right will prevail, and the people of king cove will have their safety. with that, mr. president, i thank the chair and yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. stir officer the clerk will call the roll. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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hair harass i ask that proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: we're now on the east of the so-called sequester. tomorrow federal agencies will begin making $85 billion in arbitrary destructive budget cuts, cuts that economists tell us will damage our fragile economy and cost nearl nearly oe million jobs. madam president, this is a shame, and it's shameful.
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this is yet another self-flicted wound to our economy. and it's completely unnecessary. for months president obama and democrats in congress have urged republicans to join with us in negotianegotiating a balanced pe -- a balanced package -- of spending cuts and riff knew increases to -- and revenue increases to head off this sequester. regrettably, we have run up against the same old response from our republican colleagues. obstruction, obstruction, obstruction. an adamant refusal to compromise. they reject the very idea of a balanced approach, insisting that all deficit reduction must come exclusively from cuts to spending and investment, and since they have not gotten their way, they are now willing to allow all the destructive impacts of the sequester to
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happen. think about it, because it really is breathtaking. republicans would rather allow our economy to lose up to a million jobs than to close a tax loophole that pays companies to move american jobs to foreign countries. they would rather risk jolting the economy back into recession than to close a tax loophole that allows hedge fund managers making hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families. it really is breathtaking. and i'm deeply concerned about the arbitrary cuts to programs that undergird the middle class in this country, everything from medical research to education to food and drug safety. earlier this week, the director of the national institutes of health, dr. francis collins
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warned that the sequester would slash $1.6 billion from n.i.h.'s budget, directly damaging ongoing research into cancer and alzheimer's and other diseases. funding for special education would also suffer deep cuts, eliminating federal support for more than 7,200 teachers, aides and other staff who support our students with disabilities. funding for food safety would be severely impacted, resulting in thousands of fewer inspections. a slowdown in meat process, costing jobs and endangering the safety of the public. the food safety and inspection service may have to furlough all employees for approximately two weeks, which could close down or severely restrict meatpacking plants around the country. the list of destructive budget
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cuts goes on and on. and what many people may not understand is that these are just the latest cuts to spending and investment. over the past two years the president and congress have already agreed to $1.4 trillion in cuts, spending cuts, all from the discretionary side of the budget. these have been very dramatic. spending reductions. as i said earlier today, when we hear the speaker of the house say that, well, since the first of the year we've given on revenues, but we haven't had any spending cuts. so he says no more revenues, just spending cuts. because we've already done the refrps. you see -- done the revenues. he's drawing an arbitrary starting line. his starting line is the first of this year. but you have to go back a year and a half to the budget control
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act when beginning with that, this congress made $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. $1.4 trillion. and in january, we did $700 billion in revenues. so we're still $2 in cuts for every $1 in revenue. and yet the speaker says we should have no more revenues, just all spending cuts to get up to our $4 trillion that is needed to stabilize our debt in this country. so that means he wants to have another $2.6 -- well, almost -- let me think about that. that would be 2.1. it would be $1.9 trillion more in spending cuts. think about that, and think about it in terms of just one area that i know firsthand about in my capacity as chair of the
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appropriations subcommittee on labor, health, and human services and education and related agencies -- that subcommittee has jurisdiction over spending for, for example, the national institutes of health. over the last two years congress has completely eliminated 65 programs under that jurisdiction, totaling $1.3 billion. what that means is no more funding for education technology, $100 million. no more funding for civic education, $35 million. no more funding for creating small or learning communities in high schools, another $88 million. liheap, the low-income heating energy assistance program, has been cut by $1.6 billion. that's a 30% cut. 30% cut. that cut eliminates home heating and cooling assistance for $1.5 million low-income and elderly people, households in this
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country. that's already been done. now the speaker wants to do more. maybe he wants to eliminate the entire liheap program. the administration's signature education initiative, the race to the top, has been cut by $150 million. that's a 20% cut. already a 20% cut. that's what we've done already. if you cut any more, you're really going to be destroying education initiatives in this country. how about lead poisoning? childhood lead poisoning? it's been cut by 93%, from $29 million a year down to $2 million. meaning that the center for disease control and prevention no more has any funding to test children for lead poisoning. and we know if you get kids early, you can stop the deteriorating effects of lead poisoning. but now we're not going to be
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testing these kids anymore. the national programs to keep our schools safe and drug-free have been cut by two-thirds, from $191 million to $65 million. madam president, i see our distinguished majority leader on the floor. i would yield to him. i would like to reclaim my time afterwards so that the record would not show a break in my comments. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, i appreciate very much my friend from iowa allowing me to appear to say a few words. i want to just note for the record that i've only had two united states senators visit me in my home in searchlight. he's one of them. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that on monday, march 4, at 5:00 p.m. the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations. calendar numbers 15, and 16, there be 30 minutes for debate, divided in the usual form, that upon the use or yielding back of
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that time the senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate, and no further statements be in order, any related -- no further motions be in order, and any related statements be printed in the record. that president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that on tuesday, march 5, at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 20, s. res. 64, the only resolution be the paul provision, there be up to 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form on the paul amendment, that upon the use or yielding back of that time the senate proceed to vote on the paul amendment and upon disposition of the paul amendment the senate proceed to vote on adoption of the resolution as amended if amended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separately in
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the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, march 4, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for use hraeufrt in the day. -- later in the day. following leader remarks the senate proceed to a period of morning business until 5:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. further following morning business the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that following the statement of the distinguished senator from iowa, that the senate adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: so, madam president, as i said, the
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national programs to keep schools safe and drug-free, cut by two-thirds. i wonder how many people know that. i wonder how many people know that we cut that already by two-thirds. again, this list goes on and on. deep cuts to vital programs. again, i want to emphasize these are the cuts that we have already made in the last two years. the sequester will cut them even further. so fighting childhood lead poisoning, which we know continues on in this country, we know how it destroys kids and their future growth. we know that early intervention can alleviate that. and yet it's been cut by 93%. are we going to cut it by another 7%? and we just won't have any efforts at all to test kids for lead poisoning early on.
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the sequester will have very real consequences for the economy and for our society. finally, madam president, let me just step back and put our discussion of this sequester in a broader perspective. by all means, we need to reduce deficits further, especially in the longer term. but i have questioned repeatedly the sort of obsessive, exclusive , almost borderline hysterical focus on budget deficits. meanwhile we're neglecting other urgent national priorities. how about jobs deficit? the deficit in the investment in our infrastructure. the deficit in our investment in a strong, growing middle class. so what we need is an approach to the budget that addresses all of these. reducing budget deficits, yes, but doing it in a way that allows us to strengthen the
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middle class and lay the foundation for future economic growth. we also need to look at the demographic trajectory of our country as well as the challenges posed by globalization. our nation is growing older, with the retirement of the baby boomers this will dramatically increase government costs for health care and other services. we're also now in a global economy competing not only in manufacturing, but also in a growing range of services, from telemarketing to the reading of medical m.r.i.'s. if we're to compete successfully and keep quality jobs here in the u.s., we need to invest robustly both in a 21st century infrastructure as well as in a system of education and training that equips our young people and workers for the jobs of the future. so in this broader context, what is the best way to address the resulting deficits? do we just slash spending for
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education? slash spending for infrastructure. slash spending for research and discovery? sacrificing investments that we'll need to grow our economy in the decades ahead? do we just allow this destructive sequester to kick in, costing us jobs, cutting vital supports for middle-class americans. madam president, these are the destructive budget options that will take effect starting tomorrow if we fail to act. that's why i've come to the floor today at the 11th hour to plead one final time for compromise and common sense from republicans. yes, i'm here to plead for some common sense, some compromise from republican leadership. now there are plenty of areas where we can cut spending without seriously harming the
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economy. there are plenty of commonsense options for raising revenue without lifting tax rates or hurting the middle class. it is still possible for senators to come together, but that can only happen if we have some willingness to compromise on the republican side. but when the speaker says absolutely no more revenue, how do you compromise with that? and we know from polling data that the vast majority of the american people, 60%, 70% believe we should have a balanced approach both in revenues and in cutting spending. so we have reached out our hand. we have reached out our hand in an effort to shake hands with republicans, but they have not
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reciprocated by reaching out their hand to close the deal. so it's still possible, but it's only possible if the other side is willing to make some compromises. time is short. i urge colleagues to put ideology and this partisanship aside, stop the sequester, tackle these budget deficits in a way that allows us to invest in a growing economy and a stronger middle class. now, a lot of people say, well, if the sequester kicks in, people aren't going to feel it right away. well, maybe not tomorrow night. maybe not even saturday or sunday. but beginning next week when the food safety and inspection service starts furloughing people and we begin less inspections, maybe the week after that when our air traffic
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controllers begin to be furloughed because they don't have enough money and air traffic begins to slow down in new york and chicago and washington and atlanta. and, you know, it's always true that in times like this when we have these kinds of crisis facing us, who gets hurt the first and the most? people at the bottom rung of the ladder, kids with disabilities, families who need some heating assistance in the middle of the winter, elderly people who may need some meals on wheels delivered to their home. these are always the people who get hit the first and the
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hardest. and we can't forget our societal obligations as a congress to make sure that their needs are met also. we -- we just can't turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the needs of people in our society who don't have anything anyway. we can't throw them out in the cold. we can't let our children be denied head start programs. or adequate childcare programs. this is not befitting a great and wonderful society like america. so i am hopeful that -- i know there is a meeting in the white house tomorrow. i hope it's not just a photo opportunity. i hope we will hear from the speaker of the house that, yes, we need a balanced approach and
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we're willing to take that balanced approach. if they do that, we can get this settled within the next few days and then move ahead. so that's my hope for tomorrow, and i hope that again that we'll see some forthcoming on the part of republicans that they are indeed willing to compromise. madam president, with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> the majority support is blocked by a minority. when that bill would avert the deadline. we will have to see what the senate actually does, whether republicans filibustered the
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bill. that has not happened yet. maybe they will have a change of heart. that will honestly affect the topics of conversation tomorrow a meeting with the president. the president believes that we need to come together and deal with the sequester. the sequester is just one piece of the broader challenge. reducing our deficit in a balanced way. that is what the sequester included during the budget control act. they continue to progress that we have made. $2.5 trillion thus far. more than $2 in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue he
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hopes it whether it is action by republicans to deal with the sequester in the short-term, or take up the progress of a bigger deal. you know, more deficit reduction. it helps us reach that 4 trillion-dollar goal. he we will be hoping that republicans, whether short-term or long-term are ready to talk seriously about compromise and making sure that washington is not inflicting things on the economy when the economy should be growing and creating jobs. >> are there any preconditions, taxes of things that are not to be part of what it is for? >> there are no preconditions to a meeting like this.
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this is a meeting with the president and leaders of congress. any topic is up for discussion if one member of the group decides that the issue is to be broached. but the purpose is to talk about the eminent sequester deadline and the need to avert it. it is implemented to take action in a balanced way to deal with our deficit reduction in a way that does not unduly burden seniors and middle-class families. but by doing that, it allows our economy to continue to grow and continue the recovery that we have seen on the way now. but we still have a long way to go. the president is firm in his conviction it is unacceptable to
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say that revenue should be put into place. what is true? welcome the general republican position. it has made an affect on economic growth. a single wealthy individual, asking big corporations and industries to forgo their loopholes. or to limit their deductions. that is just not a position that is sustainable, we believe, and it's not fair. >> i think that eisenhower handled crisis so well he was a very decisive man, people think of him as this grandfatherly, very pleasant man with a winning
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smile. the behind the smile, he had some very blue eyes that were very cold, and therefore he made decisions. he never made an emotional decision. he was an emotional man, but he never allowed his emotions to control him when big decisions have to be made. >> richard nixon reflect on his years as vice president to dwight eisenhower, part of american history tvs oral history on c-span3. >> you're watching c-span2 at politics and public affairs, featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights, watch key public policy events and every weekend, the latest nonfiction authors
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and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at her website, and you can join in the conversation on social media websites. >> now a conversation with congressman adam smith. he was a guest on today's "washington journal." this is 35 minutes. >> we are pleased to have join us adam smith, the top democrat on the armed services committee. congressman smith, as we have talked about the sequester, could you give us your general thoughts on where we stand today before the sequester takes effect? >> guest: that is a very good question. we know will kick in tomorrow, and we will spend a month trying to figure out where to go from here. it will be a significant challenge, across-the-board cuts that are done in a mindless way. there is really no way to plan for it and efficiently govern
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it. this is far from the best way to do it. it could have a very negative impact on a number of different aspects of government transportation, housing, and of course, national defense and the pentagon is going to have to scramble to figure out what to do given the budget this year in the middle of the fiscal year. we are five months into it. we have to come back, cut the loops, have longer conversations about how to get a more sensible plan into place. >> host: what is going to happen tomorrow in your district? pc and immediate effect? >> guest: it is really more played out over a series of months. furlough notices that have gone out to a number of employees, but over the next couple of months, i think nobody is really exactly sure what is going to happen. we will begin to see the impacts on possibly fewer employees,
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tsa, the department of defense, they have to deal it back, they are all across the board. >> host: in regards to a series of editorials this year, a couple of days ago, un- scary sequester was a the headline. yesterday was the sequester revelation. they say even with the sequester, we will spend more money than even we spent last year. >> wow, that is not actually true. we will be spending more money in the federal government. but it is a different type of thing between the mandatory portion of the budget. it is social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment insurance, a variety of different things like that. that continues to go up. and it goes up significantly with health care costs as more people retire. the discretionary portion of the
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budget, it is over 50% of the discussion of the budget. that portion of the budget, about 38%, will be cut and that is what the sequester applies here. so it's really a matter of which portion of the budget you are talking about. >> host: the senate is voting on republican plans to give republicans more flexibility in how to cut this money. what do you think about this plan? >> the plan is to keep the sequester numbered in terms of how much to cut. but to give the administration the ability to cut whatever they want to cut. or else some things are exempted from it, there is a little bit of flexibility. that is certainly better, yes, been doing it across the board and not mindless way. but my big concern on the
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deficit is the discretionary portion is done and i listened a little bit about getting spending under control. again, 50% are spending parts of the mandatory budget. that is really the piece of it, we have cut through the last 15 years, depending on how you calculate it by roughly $7 trillion. our revenue is less than 16% of gdp. back in 2000 when we were running a surplus, it was 21% of gdp. we have cut pretty much every conceivable tax and last 15 years, and that is hurting us on the revenue side as well. spending has gone up dramatically and we have to get that under control. we can't get fiscal responsibility without more debt. >> host: you talk about mandatory spending.
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[talking over each other] >> host: does that include social security and medicare? >> it certainly includes medicare. >> guest: there are ways to deal with social security without necessarily having to make reductions in the program. it is roughly 12% of the budget that is relatively small, it is really the health care portion of mandatory spending that is going up dramatically. medicare, medicaid, health care for all federal employees, including military and some retired federal employees, that is a portion that is really going on. that is where costs really need to be brought under control. >> when it comes to military spending, what concerns you the most and when will we see some of the potential cuts? >> guest: i think we can save money and to the defense budget.
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as part of the plan for two from two years ago, and i will swing this explanation this way, they cut the amount of money that they expected to spend. we are still spending more money. so when they say it is 387 billion-dollar cut, that was a cut from what we were projected to spend. that still has an impact and that is our strategy. that is what we are planning to do. i still think that we need to get give more than $487 billion. so we can cut it. one of the biggest things is what the military calls readiness, that is basically training. a lot of the money they get spent in the military is spent to train our troops to do the missions that we have told them that they need to be ready to do. sometimes does happen, sometimes they do not. but if you are going to say that the dod needs to be ready, if north korea wants is a war or if
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iran tries to shut down the strait of hormuz, we can't just wake up one day and have it happen and say, okay, go figured out. it means flying hours, having ships and training missions, a lot of that is being cut now to deal with the sequester. there is less flying hours, less time to train, less ammunition for training. which means that our troops will be less ready to perform these missions if they are asked to go do them. and that has a very big impact on our national security. >> host: as you know, bob woodward and the post is getting a lot of attention today about some of the interactions that he is at the white house. but on wednesday, he was on the and msnbc's morning show talking about the president's use of our aircraft carrier to make a point about the budget. here is what he had to say. >> can you imagine ronald reagan
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sitting there and saying, oh, by the way, i can't do this, because of some budget document order george w. bush saying that i am not going to invade iraq because i can't get the aircraft carriers that i need or even bill clinton, saying that i am not going to attack saddam hussein's intelligence headquarters as he did when clinton was president, because in some budget document under the constitution, the president and his commander in chief, we now have the president going because of this piece of paper in this agreement and i can't do what i need to do to protect the country. that is a kind of madness that i have not seen in a long time. >> bob woodward is a different understanding of how money works on the rest of us. in other words, if you don't have the money, you have to figure out how to adjust.
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that is a nice little sentiment that somehow ronald reagan would've been able to adjust and make money appear out of thin air and pay for things. but to send out an aircraft carrier, it costs a certain amount of money and everything else that goes into it. as part of the whole strategy, the resources that we have available, what will should we do to make decisions about where to spend that money. some of the money is now able to be spent so that the next group of troops that we send to afghanistan are actually ready to do what we are sending them out to do. we are talking about our lives here. if you are not properly trained, if you are not used to the equipment and working together, people die. the saving the money, i find what bob woodward said his like
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oh, come on. it's not a piece of paper, it's $45 billion. these are the choices that need to be made. i think that is a symptomatic of the larger problem is we try to confront the deficit. many thought, you don't have to do that, you don't have to raise vat tax. well, we do. if you are going to spend a trillion and a half dollars, there are going to be consequences. personally i am okay with that. there those are choices we have to make. acknowledge the choice, don't wish it away. saying that if we would have a strong leader, we would have this aircraft carrier. that apparently doesn't need
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money to be sent out. that is not the way the world works. >> host: representative adam smith. democrat, ranking member on the armed services committee. his ninth term in congress. representing the area around seattle, washington, where he served as a prosecutor for the city of seattle at one point in his career. your turn to talk with representative smith, thank you for holding, you are on the air. >> caller: thank you. i called in because i have heard both sides in these humongous tax cuts that we are giving to places like bank of america and i have listened to c-span for the last 20 years. here's what i have gathered.
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you have already taken 2% of my money, but you have not taken anything where you are putting the money in. take some money from them. bank of america didn't pay anything. $1.9 billion of our money, you can go out there, i urge you know what is going to happen. i'm going to have to pay this back again, you are not going to fix anything. that is not in regard to republicans or democrats. stop selling out america, please. >> i think you make a good point. revenue has to be part of this equation, certainly corporate tax is a part of the problem. it's interesting that there are a lot of corporations that are complaining about the fact that we have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world at 35%. but what they never mentioned is what the effective rate is. and it means how much do you actually collect after all the
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deductions and the write-offs and the different ways to hide income. we collect 12%, which is the second lowest rate in the developed world. so close in one of those loopholes, a sensible structure that raises more money. that is the part a lot of people skip. that has to be part of the equation. legitimately having a tax system that works. postmark the housemaid hr one tax reform. have you heard anything from the democratic side on tax reform that they are working with the ways and means chair? >> we have been for some time having this conversation. but i would like to emphasize that when you talk about tax reform, if you can imagine the tax reform means that those options are going to go down. you know, the democrats have been very focused on attacks
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that could have gone to people that you want to talk about today. but the important thing to remember is that 82% of the books in 10 bush tax cuts went to people making less than $250,000 a lot of those deductions that we like to derive good to us. you know, education tax credits, per child tax credits, the elimination of the so-called marriage penalty. a lot of those tax cuts went to a wide swath of people. when people say tax reform, we have to lower the rates, get rid of deduction, the thing that goes into their heads, we are all kind of in this pool together. at the end of the day, facing a chilly and dollar per year deficit plus if tax reform doesn't raise more revenue, some group of people is paying more
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in taxes, then it isn't really going to be helpful in terms of the deficit. so yes, we have more sense, and i'm all for that. but we better bring in more money if we are going to deal with that. >> host: we have another call from christine in michigan. >> caller: good morning, mr. smith. first of all, i am going to give my opinion on something, and i'm going to say that there are three kinds of lies, there is a lie and then another lie and then statistics. i want to tell you what i believe is that this sequester is absolutely going to hurt the people of the united states, and i'm talking about the people who actually pay taxes. it's not going to hurt the people who have taken their money and put it overseas and their banks, those people are not citizens of the united states. they are traitors. the traitors of this country are
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also the people from wall street who were never made to pay for what they did to this country. if we could have that money back, if we could have those people who are putting their money in banks overseas, they are not citizens of this country, mr. smith, i would like to thank you for your courage and your representation of our country's protection, which is what you are doing. again, those people putting their money's overseas are not citizens, they are traitors. >> host: let's get a response. >> guest: the big point that she made as this will have an impact on people. those saying that this won't make a difference. but cutting $80 billion out of the budget. people are going to be laid off
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and it is going to have an impact. i am free to admit that this is a very poor way of doing it and the discretionary budget has already been cut. this is another thing that will really impact some important programs. it will have a lot of impact on other areas as well. we hope to make a more comprehensive decision that includes revenue and production and to get us on a path to better fiscal health. >> host: bill says that i have a turbo feeling the president obama and his host of leaders will cut vital services to make a political point. >> guest: i just do not agree with that. if you say that you have less money you have to make those choices, they are trying to make the best choices that they can. again, you have to cut
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$88 billion out of the budget and it's going to have an impact on people. we will try to minimize that impact as much as possible, certainly the government can run more efficiently than it does. but at this point, you are going to have an impact. >> host: how have things changed, in your view? >> guest: i think the biggest thing has been the budget picture. i hear comments all the time about how congress is dysfunctional, i don't think we are fundamentally changed. but what has changed is we are under significantly more budget pressure. for a variety of different reasons. the economic class of 2008 have a profound impact. the deficit is a big issue. especially when you think about what the deficit was in the
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early 1990s. in four years we had a surplus. then we decided that we would just give it all away, a ton of tax cuts, spending increases, and of course 9/11 happened and we responded to that. 2008 happened and we responded to that. we really dug ourselves a significant financial hole. what that means is we won't be able to keep doing to what people have gotten accustomed to is doing. it is very difficult to take things back once we are in place. the paralysis that we have is that the country knows that this is great as far as the pew research poll goes. if you ask the question do you think the federal government is spending too much money, the answer is yes. okay. here are the areas in which the government spends money. if you ask if you want to cut it or keep it the same, and no area
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was there a plurality of how to cut it. not one single place. in fact, except for foreign aid, which was basically 5050, and every single other area, two thirds or more of the people said keep it the same or increase it. so we are very concerned about government spending, but we just don't want to cut it. and that is politicians that have an obligation of an honest discussion. those that say we have to cut this with specific areas. we have to talk about the programs and cut where we can reduce. but there is no way to wipe out a chilly and dollar year deficit and we will have to cut and make real choices. i am not in favor of these
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choices in regards to defense. it would be disingenuous, cutting transportation and willing to stand up and raise the revenue necessary so that we don't have to do that. we still have not discussion, that is the biggest paralysis in the country and in the country. >> host: donna in texas. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: how can congress sit and talk about cuts in social security and medicare. [inaudible question]
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>> guest: you know, it is in regards to the federal employees health benefit plan. we have about $600 per month in health care coverage. ..
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support for social security by the way. those are the choices we have to make to sit back and say it's all congress. we all have to participate in this conversation. >> host: tiger tweets in two congressman, woodward's point isn't that it's just some budget document cometh that the administration chooses binging a cvn rather than making wiser cuts? >> guest: what would those wiser cuts be mr. tweeter? if you want to throw one out there i'm wide open to that conversation and if of woodward wanted to throw it out there and say if you want to say this amount of money this is what you should have done. tell us what it is is is but just to say oh there's a smarter way to do that and not know what that smarter way is rather than say you don't know whether there was a smarter way to do it.
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it's quite possible there was but i'm a little bit familiar with the way the defense budget works. and there are tough choices all over and again isn't a primary choice here is how much ammunition and how much flying hours do you give you know to a marine unit that's getting ready to deploy to afghanistan to make sure that they are ready? believe me the pentagon has been preparing for this for a number of months and making reductions in cutting corners wherever they can. if you want to say there's a better way to do it i am all ears to the specific of what better way there is to do it. but just blindly saying make a smarter choice really does not help. the president doesn't get to make these decisions in the theoretical. yes -- the make the decisions that are important. >> host: representative smith got his law degree at the university of washington as as we mentioned and served as a prosecutor for three years for the city of seattle. jim and enterprise alabama republican line, good morning. >> caller: yes sir thanks for
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taking my call. i've got a couple of questions for the representative here. number one on the sequester, how much are you democrats planning on cutting out of the military budget and number two, it seems as though the president has been flip-flopping on this. when it first came out he said oh it was devastating it will kill everything in this country. now he is saying if you work on a military base you probably won't see any difference. which one of these two statements as a lie? >> guest: actually the president made neither of the statements. he didn't say what kill everything in this country. he has consistently said it will have an impact, sizable impact that will negatively affect the country and the economy. he has not now said it's only going to fit the military and in
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fact all of his cabinet is talking about a variety of different impacts it's going to have any bunch of different places. so i disagree on that and as far as cuts to defense, it's not democrats or republicans. the sequester law was passed in 2011 or i should say it's both democrats and republicans. i didn't vote -- vote for the budget control act but a lot of democrats and republicans did in the president certainly signed it. they all signed it thinking it would happen in thinking we would reach of budget deal and wouldn't have to implement these cuts but the amount of money cut from the fence was put that law in fy2011 and the amount was going to be $109 billion total of which 54 billion would be defense. now we are down to 88, forget what the exact defense number is i think 44 so $44 billion this year and if we donate being a by the end of this year will be roughly the same amount next year. democrats and republicans making
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that choice, we would have to make a decision to change lot to get to a different number number. >> host: and individual tweets and representative close some of the 750 bases overseas may be? >> guest: we are closing a number of them. there are two brigades coming back from europe as part of the president's plan. 750 bases is a bit of an overstatement. there are many those quote bases that are basically one-room with six or seven people working in it and the other thing i will tell you about her overseas presents it should be shrunk and it has been shrunk significantly since the cold war and as i mentioned continue to shrink it in a number of places. this is a big part of what our military does in fact this is a helpful debate which you have in this country and i've read a number of articles on both sides of this. does their ability to project power continued to be critically important to our national security? are overseas presence, that's what it does.
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the south korean and japanese security. we have 20,000 roughly troops in south korea. we have our aircraft carrier battle groups out there in a variety of folks training here at home on the mission that if north korea would decide to do something we are going to be there to help south korea. it's them or japan if it's them and that costs a lot of money. if we want to decide we are not going to do that anymore, we are not going to present a credible deterrent to north korean aggression, that's a policy choice we can make that their implications to it. don't think we bring them home and nothing happens. i mentioned iran. iran is an actor throughout the middle east and many other places. our presence as a deterrent to them going even further to do something like blocking the strait of hormuz or direct we attacking israel. if that deterrence goes goes down, if we bring ourselves home from a friday different places in kuwait, djibouti and a bunch of other different places that reduces the deterrent to these
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bad actors in doing things that are contrary to our interests. that is a balancing choice and there are some people who are very smart and have written great article saying we don't need this. the only discussion we should have but again don't think those bases we have, we have people sitting over there playing tiddlywinks all day. they are there for purpose and we have a specific national security strategy and we have a long list of requirements as to what's necessary to make sure we can meet that national security strategy. let's make a choice about what we are not going to do. >> host: chuck hagel, what's your opinion? >> guest: i think he is clearly qualified and has a background in defense. i would be foolish to say that his confirmation process went well. it didn't. he is going to have to do better than that in terms of building the relationships necessary in the house and the senate.
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credibility matters an enormous amount. you have to have credibility with a wide variety of people with the pentagon to begin with. he is dependent on the staff to implement whatever policy he wants. he's going to need their faith and confidence in him as a leader and the policies he's implementing he will have to work to earn that in the same thing in the house in the senate. both secretary panetta and secretary gates to most recent defense secretaries had an enormous amount of credibility both in the pentagon and in the congress and in very tough times with tough decisions. that the credibility enabled them i think to be very effective. secretary hagel is going to have to achieve that he's going to have to work at it. it doesn't just come automatically. >> host: was a relationship with the chair of the armed services committee representative buck mckeon? >> guest: is outstanding. one of the great things about the armed services committee it's the most bipartisan committee in congress. it's not a particularly high bar to jump over this point but we have a long tradition of the
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chair and the ranking majority and minority closing -- working close together. our joint staff in congress does that and we are committed to working together in a bipartisan fashion and also committed to passing the defense authorization bill which we have passed every year for 51 years. last year we were the only committee that did it, the committee appropriations didn't get anything done last year. we did and we did because we had chairs and ranking member's house and who are committed to bipartisanship and getting our bill done and we do it the old-fashioned way. we go through subcommittee, full committee, house, senate, conference committee and we pass legislation. the leadership doesn't come in the last minute and say here's your bill, please pass it. we work the process and it works. we have a terrific relationship. >> host: u.s. policy in serious and potentially in mali.
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>> guest: secretary kerry just met this morning i believe that the syrian opposition leaders and are stepping up our efforts to find people in syria that we can support. assad has got to go but it's very confusing in terms of who will drive them out and who will replace him. i think caution was wise. diving into a military conflict that we do not well understand and often cost lives. i think back to when there were problems in lebanon and we lost 241 marines when we went into something we didn't fully understand or somalia in 1992 so it's been appropriate to be cautious about how we approach this issue. molly, we will need to work with the people in that area and we successfully dealt with somalia because we worked with ethiopia and we worked with uganda and burundi in kenya. we built a base of support in somalia that was primarily locally driven. it wasn't the u.s. dropping
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30,000 troops in. it was working with the population and we will have to do the same thing with molly and algeria and chad and beauchere because there is a real threat with al qaeda. his comfortable hanging out in mali and afghanistan and pakistan and attacks against western targets so we have to build a coalition to stop them from doing that. >> host: are you satisfied with the french taking the lead at this point and the level of support they are offering? >> guest: i'm satisfied with with the french offering the lead pair we are not offering as much support as we need to but i don't think that's because we haven't made the right choice. it's because we haven't built relationships and we have to build capacity. three or four years ago we were concerned about what was going on. it's aqim that has been active there for a while as an offshoot of the terrorism group in algeria.
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but at the time we had very few assets in the region to monitor what was going on because we were in iraq and afghanistan and gearing up in yemen and somalia so we don't have the assets there. as we have gotten out of the iraq and drawn down in afghanistan we are free to help with assets of weekend it in there and build relationships. we are going to need to have a greater presence in more friends in that region to do with the challenges. >> host: we have been talking with representative adam smith in washington ranking member on the armed services committee. representative smith please come back. >> guest: anytime, thank you very much.
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with the automatic spending cuts deadline tomorrow white house press secretary jay carney said he hoped the presidents meeting with congressional leaders would bring about a balanced solution to avert sequestration from going into effect. the white house press briefing was about 45 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> not yet, coming soon. good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. thanks for being here. a couple of things i want to bring to your attention before i take your questions. first of all you should have seen moments ago a statement from the president on the house passage of the violence against women act. the president says in this
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statement quote and was pleased to see the house of representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the violence against women act. over more than two decades this law has saved countless lives and transform the way we treat victims of abuse. today's vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence improving how we treat victims of rape and and extending protections part native american women and members of the lgbt community. the build reauthorizes the trafficking victims protection act providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice. i want to thank leaders from both parties especially leader pelosi congresswoman gwen moore in center leahy for everything they have done to make this happen. renewing this bill was important step towards making sure no one in america is forced to live in fear and i look forward to signing it into a lot of sensitive to my desk. i would note the vote in the house was bipartisan
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substantially. it was 286-138 and that included 199 democratic yes votes and zero no votes and 87 republican yes votes, 138 republican no votes. secondly i would like to mention the republican bill in the senate that supposedly would provide flexibility on how to deal with our implement the sequestered. we have put out a statement of administration policy on this and i think you will know that we believed no amount of flexibility changes the fact that these severe cuts threaten thousands of middle-class jobs and slash vital services for children and seniors and our troops and military families. there is no way to cut spending this dramatically over a seven-month. map without drastically affecting national security and economic priorities. the republican proposal is the worst of all worlds. it explicitly protects
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porkbarrel projects and every single tax loophole that benefits the wealthy but puts on the table cuts to things like medicare and education forcing middle-class families to bear the burden while asking nothing from the wealthiest americans. this doesn't solve the problem. it makes the problem worse. this bill is an effort to shift the focus away from the need for congress to work toward a bipartisan compromise that would avoid sequestration. congress must act responsibly to avert sequestered, sequestration through balance deficit reduction and stop endangering the economic recovery. >> he is meeting with congressional leaders tomorrow. is this meeting to focus solely on the sequester or does the focus turn now to a bigger deal to do with spending cuts but also some of these other deadlines like ccr and debt ceiling issues? >> that's a very good question josh. first of all the senate will vote on the proposal put forward
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by democrats that would deal with the sequester, postpone the sequester and a balance responsible way. we expect that bill will get majority support in the senate. the only reason why it might not pass the senate is because the minority of republicans led by the republican leader would filibuster that bill. a pretty stark indication of the state of things when they build it has majority support is blocked by a minority when that bill would avert the problem that we have confronting us with this eminent deadline. we will have to see with the senate does whether republicans filibuster this bill. that has not happened yet. maybe they will have a change of heart. and that will obviously affect the topics of conversation tomorrow in the meeting with the president. the president believes we need
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to come together and deal with the sequester in the sequester is just one piece of the broader challenge here which is reducing our deficit and in a balanced way. that is what the sequester was part of one it was included in the budget control act and it was designed as policy that would never come into effect exist was so onerous proof for both sides and would compel congress to reach a compromise that reduce their deficit life for their $1.2 trillion. the president has put forward a proposal that is balance that works on, the continues the progress we have made in deficit reduction, $2.5 trillion thus far, more than $2 in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue and in the two points trillion dollars of deficit reduction the kind of balance that tilts toward spending cuts the president has put on the table the kind of balance we haven't seen unfortunately from republicans but he hopes whether it is action by republicans to
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deal with the sequester in the short-term in a balanced waiter to take up the project of a bigger deal. and more deficit reduction that helps us reach that for trillion dollar goal. he will be hoping that republicans, whether it's the short term or the long term are ready to talk seriously about compromise and making sure that washington is not inflicting wounds on the economy right when the economy should be growing and creating jobs. >> is there anything that is off the table for tomorrow? are there any preconditions for me to the president or republicans such as taxes are things that are not to be part of what is is asked for tomorrow? been no there are no preconditions. it's a meeting with the president. and leaders of congress of both parties and obviously any topic is up for discussion if one member of the group decides he
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or she wants to broach it. the immediate purpose of the meeting is to talk about the eminent sequester deadline and the need to avert avert it. the neat if it is implemented to take action in a balanced way to deal with our deficit reduction in a way that doesn't unduly burden seniors are middle-class families or parents of children with disabilities that asked everyone to bear the burden and if by doing that allows our economy to continue to grow and continue the recovery that you have seen on the way now for three years but that still has a long way to go. so the president is firm in his convictions that we need to include balance in our deficit reduction. it is unacceptable that it might the highway approach to say revenue shouldn't be part of it because as is true of the proposal republicans in the senate were putting forward
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today and what's true about that proposal is true of the general republican position which is they would rather seek sequester take effect with its job loss and make an affect on economic growth then ask a single wealthy individual to pay a little bit more to give up special tax breaks to ask some big corporations or industries to forgo their loopholes or limit their deductions and that's just not a position that is sustainable we believe and it's not fair to the american people. stay on another topic today is the deadline for the administration filing an amicus brief in the case before the supreme court. will the administration find a brief in that case? >> as i've said in the past decisions about filing briefs are legal and constitutional matters so it's best to address those questions with the department of justice. >> back to what you were saying earlier. why is the president so concerned about closing loopholes now been six weeks ago
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is part of the fiscal cliff deal he was very interested in you know agreeing to sign into law proposals that protected certain industries like the wind industry and nascar? >> a couple of things. one and part at the end of the year negotiations we are focused as were the republicans on the imminent prospect of taxes going up on middle-class americans and that had to be resolved and was resolved. we were also focused on the need to return the top are general right to the level it was under president clinton of 39.6 for the wealthiest americans and that was achieved and that produces now in the 10 year window a certain amount of revenue toward deficit reduction. that is obviously a positive development. the fact is the loopholes that we have identified are similar to some of the ones that john boehner the speaker of the house has identified and worthy of closing is not good for our tax
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code, not good for economic fairness and those are the ones we believe whether it should be closed and additionally our proposal to the speaker of the house we have put forward a provision that would cap deductions at 28% for millionaires and billionaires. that would produce a certain amount of revenue and a combination would achieve the level necessary in revenue as part of an overall reduction package that includes savings from entitlements that would complete the job of getting getting $4 trillion plus indefinite reduction over 10 years. the fact of the matter is that proposals the president made with speaker boehner that most people recognize as an effort by the president to compromise to make tough choices for democrats is still on the table and we hope that the speaker would consider taking up that proposal
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because they think was yesterday or the day before the speaker talked about how he believes we could reform the tax code. the fundamental difference now seems to be not that we shouldn't close loopholes and cap deductions for the wealthiest individuals and corporations that are given special treatment in the tax code, the speaker seems to agree with that. this disagreement seems to believe he believes the savings from that action from closing those loopholes should be funneled back to the wealthiest individuals in tax cuts. we believe adopting a conservative position that saving should be applied to deficit reduction and thereby by applying facts to the deficit reduction we are not asking seniors or middle-class families to bear the burden of deficit reduction albite themselves. that is a pretty conservative position a middle-of-the-road commonsense approach to tax reform and entitlement reform.
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>> up tax loopholes and agreeing to continue some but now saying these other ones are bad, is there any contradiction that you have to square your messaging on that? >> at if you're asking me is the wind energy tax credit that help support thousands of jobs and importantly contributes to the development and growth of clean energy technologies in this country so that jobs are created in this country i would say absolutely yes and the number of republicans agree. if you asked me if an industry, energy jobs in the future if you asked me if subsidies that had been in effect for 100 years for the oil and gas industry taxpayer subsidies given to an industry that is doing quite well as everyone here who has built up their tank recently can attest whether those subsidies and special tax breaks should be continued the answer is no. there are bad policy.
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that's something that actually ronald reagan agrees agrees with. he's has said numerous times he proposed to close that special tax break and loophole for the oil and gas industry back in 1985 when he thought at the time that the need for that subsidization of the oil and gas industry had run its course and that was almost 30 years ago. speech as briefly as the u.s. government helping in any way to train syrian opposition now? >> i think you saw secretary kerry announce an increase in our systems to the opposition, the syrian opposition coalition in rome today. he stood with our partners and reaffirmed with president obama to help the syrian people transition to a democratic inclusive as peace with syria. bashar al-assad has lost legitimacy and we stand united with the syrian people and offer support to the syrian opposition even as other countries choose to make it possible against his
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own people. secretary kerry announce today that that to translate our support into tangible suspense we will provide an additional $60 billion in non-lethal support to the coalition's operational needs on top of $50 million divided in assistance to the opposition and is separate from the $385 billion in you manocherian assistance that we have been providing to the syrian population. major. >> is wondered if the president took note of your argued -- like that the oral arguments in the voting rights act and if he had particular reaction to it. it could be described in many ways that likely would be one way to describe it. staff is spoken to him about but i know white house counsel kathy romer was in attendance but i have not spoken with the president so i don't have a reaction from him on those arguments. i will say that while i can't
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comment on specific litigation and for a comment i would refer you to the department justice. voting is a basic democratic right and the reauthorization of the voting rights act itself packed with the bipartisan support in congress signed into law by president bush just seven years ago. the protections offered in the voting rights act had been critical to reducing its discrimination in voting in the more than four decades since the lawless first past and continues to play an important role as the president has said quote we must remain vigilant in guaranteeing access to the ballot box. >> when will the president's budget he sent be sent to the congress and wiser so far behind schedule's? >> we have addressed this in the past and i don't have a date sure. i don't have a date certain and i don't think we have provided a date certain for when the budget will be put forward but i think it will be in march. i think that the series of manufacturing crises around
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budget issues certainly has resulted at least in part in those experts in the administration working on these issues having to spend a lot of time dealing with those crises rather than on that but you know that this part of the job and they are working on the budget. >> the education secretary said yesterday some things that did not prove to be true about the immediacy of pink slips for teachers. he mentioned a specific school district in west virginia that wasn't related at all and made mild suggestions that they might not be there and they are clearly not. how confident are you in the best ration of the tortured he is presenting in the country is not only inaccurate but will stand the scrutiny of time once these cuts "ask there was a note of exaggeration or factual inaccuracy. >> you want to apply other examples i would take them.
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>> definitively there will be 90 minute delays. stabenow the secretary of transportation was giving you a minute target for how much the delays will be. be. if there will be delays as a result of man-hours and personnel among our air traffic controllers that is a fact and i hope you keep that in mind when you're on your next commercial flight in your delayed if that doesn't that come into effect in the sequester. i would refer you to the department of education and the superintendent of schools in the district that you mentioned for specifics about that. i'm certainly not familiar with it. i can tell you the impacts of sequester are real and to diminish them -- i would refer you to the department of education and the superintendent of the school district for more information. what i can tell you that -- [inaudible]
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>> i'm not personally in contact with individual school districts. >> you're asking us to check with the local school? >> let me rewind a tape or said i would refer you to the department of education which is here in washington d.c. not a local school district for more information. obviously the school district is a good place to go for information. see you said that podium was false, it was wrong. >> i don't have any more for you on it. i encourage you to make phonecalls and old fashion reporting sense to find out more if you would like. the fact is the effects of sequester will be real if it goes, if it takes place beginning tomorrow night. in ohio, ohio will lose approximately $25.1 million in funding for primary and secondary education putting round 350 teacher aide jobs at risk. in addition 34,000 fewer students would be served in approximately 100 fewer schools would receive funding. if you don't think that is real,
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if this happens you should go out to ohio and ask the families that are affected if they think it's real. california will lose $3.3 million in funding for job search assistance referral and placement meaning 129,770 fewer people will get help in employment. after a few weeks fly to california and go to a job assistance placement and find the people who aren't getting served and asked them if they think it's real. as the family whose child will not have a slot in headstart whether they think it's real. ask the civilian defense department employee who has already got the notification that he or she -- let me finish. that he or she will be furloughed leather that has a real impact. they might lose 10 or 20% of their pay for the month of the year whether that has an impact on their family budget. to suggest otherwise --
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>> no one suggested otherwise. i asked her about education. >> you should go to department of education. your use an example and i don't have details to suggest the whole argument -- go right and again let's rewind the tape because what you said after that was do you think using this as an example that we are exaggerating the effects of sequester and i just gave you concrete examples of what's going to happen. those are real people with real impacts and i think they wonder when they sit around the kitchen table why washington can't compromise and in this case because compromise represents a willingness to accept policies not 100% of what you want. the president has done it again again and again and unfortunately republicans seem to be unwilling to do that when it comes to sequester so the sequester may take place with the effects we have talked about. >> the president said last night they say say it's not a cliff or a tumbledown or conceivable in the first few weeks are the first month that a lot of people
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may not notice the full impact of the sequester. is he concerned that you overstated the impact and you are trying to dial it back? >> it's our responsibility to be upfront about the fact that you cannot responsibly cut $85 billion out of the budget in seven months without having in the way that the law has designed without having dramatic effects on the defense industry, civilian defense workers on our national security readiness, on teachers, on kids in headstart. that's just a fact. >> from the tone for example the attorney general says this is going to have an impact on the safety of this country and anybody who says otherwise is lying. >> if you reduce the number of orders security guards that has an impact on our safety. if you are forced because of sequester to change our military readiness posture that has an effect on our safety. reporters of the one suggesting that all of this was going to happen the stroke after midnight
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when the sequester goes into effect. we have always been clear about when you talk about furloughs, notices go out. once you receive a notice it's always the third in a warning before those begin. we have been very clear about the different impacts. when arne duncan was here yesterday he made clear that a lot of the actual effects in the education world won't be felt concretely until the fall because that is when the new school year begins. there are specific areas like school districts outside of military bases or on indian reservations that will feel the impact immediately because they will be forced by the nature of their grants to cut their budgets for the school year. we have been very clear. with the president said last night and what other people have said is this will be a rolling impact and it will build and build and as the cbo has said an outside economic organizations have said we will see a contraction in the amount of gdp
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growth, reduction in the amount of gdp growth by a full half of a% or more and we will see up to 750,000 jobs lost. that's the cbo. that's moody's and macroeconomic advisers so that is real. at least we we agree with those assessment and it affects real people. scionti for topic at last years what has corresponds has corresponds dinner the presence of the guise of free press that is not afraid to ask questions to examine and to criticize. has he ever spoken to essays about the town he'd like them to take, you all to take kentucky the press? >> i think the president expects us to fully explain his policies, to answer questions about his decisions and to make clear when we believe factual errors are being stated which is what we do and look look i think it's anyone who has done this from either side of this podium can do you these are about real issues.
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these are about the concrete effects of policy on people's lives, on our national security, on our children's future and everybody who is involved in these issue feels passionately about them. but we are enormously respectful of the work that you do, that i used to do and we also believe it's important for us to make clear when we think as we have in the past, somebody's out there getting the facts wrong. >> gene sperling told bob woodward that he might regret this reporting. what was intended by that? >> i don't think it would be a responsible thing to ask that question in the context of the full e-mail since we don't know what the full e-mail said. the e-mails incredibly respectful and referred to mr. woodward has his friend and apologized for raising his voice. i think you cannot read those e-mails and come away with the impression that gene was threatening anybody and as i
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think others have observed. the point though, which reporters would pay attention to the policy substance of that e-mail because the point that gene was making was a point that i and others have made and the president has made. this is really important policy and one thing that is absolutely irrefutable is that the president from day one of signing the budget control act has been absolutely clear in dealing with deficit reduction going forward and in replacing and eliminating the sequester he believed we had to have balance. you would have to have your head in the sand not to know that. everybody here has reported it ad nauseam so i think that's the fact that gene was concerned with. that's the fact that we are all concerned with. >> all stop after this i promise. you are mark tierney unique position because you have been on the size of the reporter source relationship. any regret about the erosion of trust between sources and reporters? to subvert the public?
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>> look, i have seen this play out before in both white house as i covered previously. i think we have talked about this just in recent weeks where the naturally adversarial relationship between the press corps in any administration, any white house, means you guys appropriately are always demanding more information and holding our feet to the fire. that's absolutely how it should be. you go out and reporter giving you can find about what we are doing and what congress is doing and what the agencies are doing and we get out there and try to explain the president's positions and articulate way we think his positions are the right positions, and contests assertions to the contrary. twice every bus and it was certainly that way when i got here and covered the clinton white house and when i was covering the bush white house and i don't think it's any different now. i would suggest the atmosphere in this room was a lot more
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intense when i got here in 1993 than it is today. >> jay when you were telling jessica that the tone of that e-mail from gene sperling was respectful last night on twitter david plouffe who very recently was a senior adviser inside the white house put out a tweet that was comparing bob woodward to enraging baseball baseball player who it's sort of lost his talent and it's sort of belittled him. do you think that is respectful and that is something the white house also supports? >> the fact of the matter is there was an accusation that gene had been threatening and is everybody i think who knows gene knows, that's hard to believe. gene has been working on these issues all of his life in these very passionate about them. he works 20 hours a day often on behalf of the american people and this president to try to dance an economic agenda that helps middle-class americans, average americans and he will continue to do that. i have enormous respect for the work of woodward is famous for.
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i think a lot of us got into business in part because we have read all the presidents men president's men are we saw the movie or both. but you know we had a factual disagreement that i think we stand by which is that the president was very clear from the beginning that he would push talent's deficit reduction. how can that be mr.? that spin is position since the day he signed the budget control act and the position of various republicans adopted in trying to eliminate the sequester. the phrase moving the goalposts is not one we agree with. that's it really. >> are you concerned about the facts and the debate about this cluster and the back-and-forth about arne duncan are you acknowledging from this podium now for some of the things he said yesterday were not true? >> i have not independently looked at them. >> how can the public believe what you're saying day in and day out about flight hours if
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you are not checking it out? >> i had the secretary of transportation, pierre and talk about the impacts of the faa and the secretary of education talk about areas of his budgets because they are the experts in their fields. at the secretary of homeland security talk about the effects on their areas of responsibility so we do that and they know the most in in the most in-depth about those areas so you want an answer to a specific question you to take to them. i think the broader point setting aside that issue was i think strongly made which is that there will be a substantial effect on school districts around the country, on budgets to help poor children in budgets to help disabled kids which are as secretary duncan secretary duncan described two of the biggest portions of the budget and will unavoidably be affected when sequester is implemented. again those are real people out there who will suffer if the sequester goes into effect and stays in effect for stem cell
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period of time. so yesterday you asked about the i.c.e. agency releasing detainees. apparently because of budget cuts around sequester. u.s. at the white house did not intervene beforehand. there's been some reporting overnight that perhaps i.c.e. is rethinking -- rethinking this and i wonder has the white house since yesterday's briefing intervened with i.c.e. and said this is not a good idea? >> not that i'm aware of. this was a decision made by career officials without input from the white house as a result of fiscal uncertainty and possible sequestration. i have no information today about it than i did yesterday. >> when you are talking about the relationship with the press secretary lew didn't let the cameras are the press pool in. why not? >> it was a private ceremony with members of his family including grandchildren. as you know now secretary lew has served present a bomb in
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four this is his fourth and he and the president have become close through their service together and the president wanted to have this ceremony for the secretary lew in the oval office because of that relationship. >> the ap report in january 2009 that the last treasury secretary tim geithner who i assume that his family there as well is sworn in by the vice president at present was there and made remarks about the financial crisis. right now there's a budget crisis that we are talking about this podium every day. why wouldn't the present open up to tv cameras? >> well again it was a ceremony and the president has addressed the looming sequester challenge and he took questions from you guys less than a week ago on friday. i'm sure he will be talking about it in the future and making remarks about it in the future. granted it's not as important as who he is playing golf with but he will be talking about this
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very important policy issue and engaging with you in the future. see you said earlier you will be forced to cut security guards and that's because of the nature of the sequester to go down to the deepest level of government activity in making across-the-board cuts. why not accept flexibility so you wouldn't have to do that? >> well as i said at the top belmont flexibility changes the fact that the severe cuts threaten thousands of middle-class jobs and slash vital services were children seniors troops and our military families. 85 alien dollars as we have had economic officials talk to about in the cabinet secretary talked about, there is no way to mitigate the damage that the cuts made that deeply enough swiftly in the budgets identified go away. >> but it wouldn't have cut security guards. it would force you to make a choice.
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>> secretary napolitano explained how that was not the case and these personnel intensive agencies when you are forced to deal with the kinds of cuts envisioneenvisioned here you have to apply them to personnel through furloughs and the like or reduced man-hours. you cannot, that's the problem. the fed chairman made it clear that no changing of the nature of the $85 billion in cuts would change the effect on the economy which he described as negative. in talking about the effect on our fiscal situation. the best way to go about this is to postpone the sequester or agree to a bigger deal that eliminated entirely in a balanced way in a way that doesn't ask seniors or the border security guards or middle-class families who depend on employee services for disabled kids or help in sending
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their kids to college, if you asked them to bear the the burden of this deficit deficit reduction that burton is onerous. if you spread out the burden and asked wealthy individuals who enjoy advantages of the tax code that average americans don't to give up those advantages, if you ask industries and corporations that have special exceptions written into the tax code because they have really good lobbyist here in washington to you thought those special exceptions and exemptions, you can spread the burden and mick at less onerous on regular folks that's the approach the president believes is the right way to go. >> one question about arne duncan. wait, can i just finish? one last question about arnie duncan. are you saying one inaccurate example should not undercut your larger argument? >> i'm saying i don't know the specifics about the example but the larger argument remains true it's irrefutabirrefutab le. it's been attested to by republicans who until they change their political strategy were shouting from the rooftops
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about the terrible effects of sequester. you guys reported on it. >> you're asking for some forbearance on the specific examples. >> i don't know the specifics. >> jay thank you. i know you want to leave questions about the race to the doj but as the president spokesman i wonder if you could tell us about his deliberations on this? >> i really don't have anything for you. the president has obviously expressed an opinion in the past on this issue as a matter of policy but when it comes to legal and constitutional issues around it, that's a jurisdiction that resides at the department of justice. i don't have anything for you on that. >> a decision about whether to weigh in, wouldn't be a policy decision made by the president? >> i don't have anything on it and i would refer you to the doj. >> jay a final line on the sequester. what's it going to be like tomorrow? this thing is going to happen
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barring a legislative miracle, it's going to happen tomorrow. tomorrow at 11:59 so what happens then? >> look, i think we have been very clear about various areas where these cuts will go into effect and the impact they will have. not all of them will be felt immediateimmediately as i think we have been cleared out and the president and others but they will be immediate effects. and if you doubt that, -- and immediate effects -- >> let's talk about gdp which was granted revised upwards two tenths of a% for the fourth quarter but it was as low as they figure is the goddess every outside economists will tell you because of the reduction in part because of the reduction in defense spending, historic 40 year low or drop in anticipation of the sequester. we saw it again yesterday i believe it was in the durable
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goods figures that showed almost all of the drop in durable goods attributable to defense sector reductions in spending reductions in orders made by defense industry companies because of sequester. these have real effects on business and on jobs. and we will see it, we have seen it already from the notices that have gone out warning people that furlough notices will be forthcoming if the sequester goes into effect. now i believe that if you are a middle-class family and the father of the mother of that family gets a notice in a couple of days or has gotten a notice already that he or she will be getting a furlough notices and that furlough will take effect in 30 days that doesn't have an impact on your family in 30 days. it has an impact on your family right now as you begin to contemplate life without less money to make the ends meet. these are real consequences.
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there will be families that get notices that there is not a slot anymore for for their for their child that for their child at headstart and they will there will be families that have to deal with reduced hours, a father or mother is a border security guard or an air traffic controller. these are real-world impacts. they don't all happen on saturday. it's a gradual process but the cumulative impact of sequester will be significant to our economy and particularly so to the individuals affected. >> you said mayor bloomberg who stood right of there yesterday and was asked about the warnings that have come from the white house and said obama's posturing spare me i live in that world. i mean come on let's get serious here. he was very dismissive of these warnings. is mayor bloomberg just wrong about the? >> i wasn't there and i didn't hear what he had to say. different cities and regions and states will have different effects depending on what kind of funding they get in the affected areas from the federal
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government. i can't. >> to what the impacts will be on new york city but there will be real-world impacts. and it is i think just a fact that if you are at the receiving end of the notice that you are going to be furloughed or you are going to be laid off, that's nothing small. that's huge and the people who get those notices will have washington to blame in particular unfortunately the intransigence of the refusal to compromise and to do something reasonable and balance that you have seen on capitol hill. >> just one quick follow up on the woodward thing. another longtime respected washington journalist ron fournier came out and talked about woodward and his story about how he has received many what he called fulgren abusive e-mails and phonecalls from the white house officials. i mean, have you ever heard of anything like that? >> i've been on the receiving end of a few in previous white house is and it certainly didn't
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trouble me too much. i don't have any specific comment on that. >> is a just winding? >> i think this is a situation where people feel passionately about the policies that the president has and that previous presidents have put forward and my predecessors and others felt the same way i am sure. and reporters are under a great deal of competitive pressure not just to get scoops but also to have the most noticed opinion or observation and they are going to be disagreements about whether those facts or opinions or observations are on the mark. i think it should be that way. i never took it personally when my former boss here rahm emanuel back when i was a reporter to get on the phone and give me an earful about something he didn't like.
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it didn't affect my relationship with him and it didn't stop me from talking to him. i just happened to know that was realm's way and that was true in the bush white house. not just the white house -- clinton white house. >> jay with the white house concede in some form that this was a miscalculation to put forward the sequester is a forcing mechanism now that we are on the eve of going into effect? >> affect? >> i feel like this is groundhog day. >> if you guys played a part in some of capacity of it. >> i think it's unfortunate that republicans who again shouted from the rooftops and page and page again about sequester would be the worst possible thing for national security and other aspects of the government who now think that sequester is an effective political tool and they are perfectly happy with the consequences of the sequester.
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they were right that the sequester was designed purposefully to be bad policy. it was designed that way and to be equally onerous for both republicans and democrats so that the prospect of its implementation will compel congress to make tough choices. unfortunately despite going back to the argument about the goalpost, despite proposals by some republicrepublic ans revenue be included in a package of deficit reduction would eliminate the sequester and achieve our goal republicans in the end refused to do that. they continue to have a proposal in the table that does that so yeah it's unfortunate the sequester may come to pass and we we would simply pointed to statements not just by democrats or the president but by republicans who warned about all the negative impacts of sequester and said we have to do something responsible to avoid it. i think we have seen from a number of republicans lately including senator graham and senator mccain and some house
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republicans comments from them suggesting that it would be wise to close a few loopholes or cap a few deductions or eliminate some special breaks for corporations as part of the deficit reduction package to avoid sequester. >> i think you been -- seen numerous economists as well as the chairman of the fed, is there. >> you have seen numerous economists saying this is $85 billion. you can't wish away the negative effects that it will have on our economy if it comes alden cuts in the way that it is fashion. the way to deal with this responsibility is to balance it with revenues gained from the tax reform closing the loopholes eliminating special tax breaks for industries that no longer need them and maybe never did and asking millionaires and billionaires to carry some of
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the burden. that's a proposition that the american people overwhelmingly support. >> tomorrow we are seeing congressional leaders on the sequester. is this a new phase where we will see more direct negotiations among the parties to try to resolve this or do expect to see the president still going on the road in making his case or do you think will be seeing more -- >> it never has been and will not need an either/or proposition as we have said for a long time now. the president will continue to travel around the country and talk about the issues that he thinks are important in the priorities that he has put forward and his agenda. the suggestion that that is a bad thing to do i think implies that republicans who criticize the president for talking about sequester with the american people don't want the american people to know about what's really happening here, which is not an approach we take. he will obviously continue to
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engage with congress as he has in the past and as he will tomorrow both congressional leaders and rank-and-file members of both the both the senate in the house in an effort to try to resolve this. we have an opportunity here still on the table for congress to take up a balanced deal that will complete the job and then some of achieving more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years in the a balanced way that helps our economy grow it helps to create jobs. >> can i change the topic for a second? >> really, do you have to? >> why not? in the midst of all this is the president had an the president had been opportunities to the president had an opportunity sit down with the our national security team to talk about what is meshes will be almost in two weeks when he goes to the middle east? >> i don't have any preview of that trip. the timing is good. he believes as he begins his second term as there's a new government coming into place in israel he very much looks forward to the trip to israel
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and jordan and ramallah, the west bank. peter, less one. >> thanks. what is your understanding of how and when this thing is going to kick in tomorrow? some people on the hill think that it's an ad 12:01 tomorrow morning. you mentioned 11:59. there is also wording out there that the president has to sign sign -- >> my understanding and i'm a layman in this but my understanding is that the law has a provision that requires the president to order the sequester on march 1 which is tomorrow and that means it has to be done by 11:59 tomorrow. >> will the wait that long? >> 11:59 and 59 seconds. i think we will. i do not know. we haven't made a schedule yet for tomorrow